Jun 10, 2012 7:55am
Re: the Whedons, and a summer movie rec
The wife is a huge Joss Whedon fan, so I've absorbed more about him that I was meant to (not a huge Sci-Fi guy) just as she is occassionally dismayed at how much she has soaked up about all things Jerry over the years).
Gotta say it seems he's a huge talent. And that it's in his genes- he's at least a third generation Whedon in the entertainment industry. His grandfather John wrote for television (primarily the Donna Reed Show) and I was aware of him as the only episode of the Dick Van Dyke show he wrote is my favorite of the whole series ('61-'66). (While not a sci-fi guy, I'm am a DVD guy).
It's from early '62 and Rob and Laura have a spat. They both offer up very different versions of the quarrel as they go about seeking solace from friends afterwards- Rob at the office and Laura from the next door neighbor. Thus a 1962 sit-com take on 'Rashoman.'
The episode is remarkably well written, and I submit way ahead of it's time. In the context of the early sixties it stands alone: The quarrel is so raw and real in the way that it is about nothing (like alot of spats are)- just two people who've had seperate bad days collide at home around dinner time and ignite. Can't imagine another TV couple of the era having an exchange like this- Ozzie and Harriet? Donna Reed and Carl Betz? Robert Young and Jane Wyatt on Father Know's Best? Ward and June?
Filmed in October of '62 (Cuban Missle Crisis), I think it's fair to say this episode reflects a far more accurate and modern view of marriage. A young, Catholic president is at the helm in America, replacing an older authoriatarian figure dating (way back) to WWII. It must have felt like there was permission to do new things, to update, to change. A world is depicted in this episode where husbands and wives DON'T wander around in a near state of sedation as far as the range of their expressions is concerned. The 50s post-war exhale and it's attending economic prosperity has begun to give way to 60s anxiety and confusion. http://www.hulu.com/watch/30487
The window that's open here closed pretty quickly however. We never see this version of the Petries again; America wanted no part of a bickering Rob and Laura after the Kennedy assasination.
Oh, the summer movie rec. How about 'The Swimmer.'http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Swimmer_
In keeping with summer, the film's star Burt Lancaster spends quite a bit of time in back yard pools. This however is not breezy movie fare. Based on a John Cheever story it's funny in spots. And like the DVD episode from '62, watched in the context of 1968 it can be very compelling. Think campus unrest, social change, a large generation coming of age that has *just a few* questions to ask.
Think 'The Graduate,' the documentary 'Columbia Revolt,' etc.. A wonderful time capsule of a movie.